Everything you wanted to know about the Mudd Manuscript Library but were afraid to ask!

Who was Seeley G. Mudd?
Seeley G. Mudd was a Harvard educated cardiologist and later dean and professor at the University of Southern California. During his lifetime, he contributed more than $10 million to various colleges and universities, and posthumously established a $44 million fund for the development of buildings for higher education, known as the Seeley G. Mudd Fund.
When was the Mudd Manuscript Library built?
Construction on the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library was completed in 1976.
But I’ve been to another Seeley G. Mudd library…
As the Mudd Fund gave grants to many other colleges and universities, there are other facilities with similar names, including some libraries, such as those at Yale University, Duke University, Lawrence University (Appleton, WI), and Pomona College (Clairmont, CA).
What kind of collections does the Mudd Library hold?
The Mudd Manuscript Library has two primary collections, the University Archives and the Public Policy Papers. For more information, see: http://www.princeton.edu/mudd/news/faq/sources/whatkind.shtml

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From the Archives: Summer at Princeton

With most students away and the heat beating down on McCosh Walk, summer at Princeton has an undeniably different character than that of the academic year.
Unlike Ivy League counterparts such as Columbia and Harvard, Princeton does not hold summer classes. Instead, the campus is populated by a variety of summer camps, conferences, and other special programs. The small cadre of students who remain on campus are often at work on dissertations and theses or employed in summer jobs on behalf of various university departments. Meanwhile, faculty who remain may be preparing material for publication or undertaking research.
But this was not always the case. From 1923 to at least the 1940s, Princeton hosted its own summer courses, and students have returned to campus in droves during times of national emergency as well, such as during World War I, when Princeton hosted military training camps, or World War II, when the summer session was greatly expanded so students could complete more courses before going off to serve in the war.


World War I Summer Training Camp — Review (1917). Historical Photograph Collection: Campus Life Series, Box MP207

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From the Archives: Princeton and the Supreme Court

Journalists and pundits are noting that Elena Kagan’s

confirmation to the Supreme Court last week marks the first time three women have served concurrently on

the high court. However, Kagan’s confirmation marks another historic

occasion — the first time in 168 years that three Princetonians have shared

the bench.

While 2010’s trio consists of Samuel Alito ‘ 72, Sonia

Sotomayor ’76, and Elena Kagan ’81, the 1842 trio consisted of Smith Thompson

‘1788, Peter V. Daniel ‘1805, and James Moore Wayne ‘1808.


Justices Thompson

‘1788 (Undergraduate Alumni Records), Daniel ‘1805 (Dickinson University’s House Divided Project), and Wayne ‘1808 (Library of Congress).

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Our Blog Redesign: Old stuff in a new bottle

Readers of this blog are used to reading timely, informative, and entertaining news about the collections, staff, and events at the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library.

But, as of today, this blog will change. Don’t worry — we will still bring you the latest news coupled with tidbits regarding Princeton University history, but as you can already tell, the look and feel is different.

Thanks to a new version of Movable Type, the blogging software that Princeton’s Office of Information Technology supports, you can see our redesigned banner, a search box, and a listing of the most recent comments across all of our postings.

We’re excited about the changes because the new software allows us to create reader polls and gather more statistics about which entries are read, data we can use to tailor our content to better serve you, our readers. On our end, formatting has also been made easier, so we hope our entries will appear sharper to the eye.

Please send us your comments about the blog through the comment link below or feel free to contact us at mudd@princeton.edu.

Old Design

Mudd’s Old Blog Design

New Design

Mudd’s New Blog Design

American Civil Liberties Union Records Processing Funded


The Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library is pleased to announce that the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) has awarded the library funding to process a 2,000 linear foot addition to the American Civil Liberties Union Records, making these important materials more accessible to researchers. Work on this two year project will commence in July, with completion set for June 30, 2011. Adriane Hanson, who previously completed NHPRC-funded projects to process the George Kennan and James Forrestal Papers and Mudd’s economics collections, will manage the project.

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From the Archives…Bob Bradley ’80

Long before he was coaching the US National Soccer Team at the World Cup, Bob Bradley ’80 was Princeton’s coach of twelve years. During this time, he led the Tigers to a pair of Ivy League titles and an appearance in the 1993 College Cup.


Bob Bradley as a freshman. Princeton University Archives: Undergraduate Alumni Records, 1921-2008

Before that, he was a Princeton student as well. A history major, Bradley wrote his senior thesis on “The History of Intercollegiate Athletics at Princeton,” and was joint top scorer on the 1979 team that was Princeton’s most successful up to that point. Bradley was also a varsity baseball player during his freshman year, and a broadcaster at WPRB as a junior and senior.

One of Bradley’s assistants, Jesse Marsch ’96 was also a Princeton student. Marsch was named All-American in 1995 while playing on Bradley’s team.


Jesse Marsch ’96, Photo by Greg McDermott, Princeton University Archives: Undergraduate Alumni Records, 1921-2008

-John DeLooper

Does Princeton Have a Mandatory Swim Test?

Dear Mr. Mudd,

Is it true that Princeton has a mandatory swim test for freshmen? Furthermore, was this test instituted after the drowning death of an alumnus, whose parents gave the university a pool on the condition that all students were trained to swim to prevent such a tragedy from ever occurring again?

New Students Card for William Humphreys ‘1928
Historical Subject File, Box 122, Folder 7

Princeton did indeed have a swim test, but this test was not instituted because of the death of an alumnus. It is, however, easy to see why this story would develop and create a lasting legend.

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History of Opening Exercises

Dear Mr. Mudd,

What is the history of Princeton’s Opening Exercises, and how long have they been held at the Chapel?

1986 Opening Exercises, Office of Communications Records, Box 172

Pursuant to your question on when Opening Exercises began and how long the ceremony has been held in the Chapel, the earliest documented “opening exercise” I could find was in 1802, held in Nassau Hall. There is a newspaper clipping to that effect in Historical Subject Files, Box 312. I also checked the index to Trustees Minutes but did not see anything there.

The first time the gathering is referred to as “opening exercises” is in 1904. It was previously referred to in the General Catalogue as an assembly.

Opening Exercises have been held in the University Chapel since 1929. After Nassau Hall, they were held in Marquand Chapel. After Marquand burned, they were held in Alexander Hall until the completion of the University Chapel.

Opening Exercises Procession at Marquand Chapel,
Historical Photograph Collection: Grounds & Buildings, Box MP29


Christie Lutz

Putting the Pieces Together

How Gregg Lange Connected Six Degrees of Princeton’s African-American History

Readers of the January 13, 2010, issue of the Princeton Alumni Weekly online may have noticed Gregg Lange’s article “Six degrees of Princeton’s African-American history.” In search of details for his Rally ‘Round the Cannon column, Lange ’70 has become a regular visitor to the University Archives at the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library, using dozens of Mudd’s collections to explore and share facets of Princeton University History. The links he has formed from those years of research, combined with keen insight, and personal connections to the parties involved helped him draw the connections that link John Maclean Jr. ‘1816 to Michelle Obama ‘1985.

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Nicholas Thompson, author of “The Hawk and the Dove” to speak at WWS, Feb. 17

Nicholas Thompson, a Senior Research Fellow of the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation and the author of “The Hawk and the Dove: Paul Nitze, George Kennan, and the History of the Cold War,” will present a public talk titled, “The Hawk and the Dove: how Nitze and Kennan shaped the Cold War and the relevancy of their ideas today,” at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 17, in Bow 016, Robertson Hall, on the Princeton University campus. A book signing and public reception will immediately follow the talk in the Bernstein gallery.

Nicholas Thompson

Thompson is a senior editor at Wired Magazine and an official panelist on CNN International’s “Connect the World” with Becky Anderson. He is the author of the new book, “The Hawk and the Dove” which examines the strategies of political rivals and friends Paul Nitze and George Kennan for winning the Cold War.

Thompson, the grandson of Paul Nitze, conducted much of his research in the George F. Kennan Papers held at Princeton’s Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library.

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